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The UP modelling system for large scale hydrology: Simulation of the Arkansas-Red River basin

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Chris Kilsby, Professor John Ewen, Professor William Sloan, John Richmond, Professor Enda O'Connell


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The UP (Upscaled Physically-based) hydrological modelling system to the Arkansas-Red River basin (USA) is designed for macroscale simulations of land surface processes, and aims for a physical basis and, avoids the use of discharge records in the direct calibration of parameters. This is achieved in a two stage process: in the first stage parametrizations are derived from detailed modelling of selected representative small catchments and then used in a second stage in which a simple distributed model is used to simulate the dynamic behaviour of the whole basin. The first stage of the process is described in a companion paper (Ewen et al., this issue), and the second stage of this process is described here. The model operates at an hourly time-step on 17-km grid squares for a two year simulation period, and represents all the important hydrological processes including regional aquifer recharge, groundwater discharge, infiltration- and saturation-excess runoff, evapotranspiration, snowmelt, overland and channel flow. Outputs from the model are discussed, and include river discharge at gauging stations and space-time fields of evaporation and soil moisture. Whilst the model efficiency assessed by comparison of simulated and observed discharge records is not as good as could be achieved with a model calibrated against discharge, there are considerable advantages in retaining a physical basis in applications to ungauged river basins and assessments of impacts of land use or climate change.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kilsby CG, Ewen J, Sloan WT, Burton A, Fallows CS, O'Connell PE

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Hydrology and Earth System Sciences

Year: 1999

Volume: 3

Issue: 1

Pages: 137-149

Print publication date: 01/03/1999

ISSN (print): 1027-5606

ISSN (electronic): 1607-7938

Publisher: Copernicus GmbH